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Blinking Hourglass Cursor Problem


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#1 landy223

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 01:08 PM

Dear Bleepingcomputer Forumites:

I have had this problem off and on for 3 months: my cursor on my PC (a 2006 Dell Inspiron 710m) frequently has an incessantly blinking hourglass attached to it. At the time this first happened, the problem seemed to appear out of nowhere; I hadn't made any strange changes or downloads that might have explained it. I am running Windows XP Professional. I've run an updated version of Trend Micro PC-cillin and it says that my computer is clear of viruses. I downloaded the Microsoft Autoplay Repair Wizard, but when I run the "repair" wizard it tells me that it can't fix the problem. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Thanks in advance, landy223.

Edited by landy223, 21 May 2008 - 01:09 PM.


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#2 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 02:14 PM

Hi and Welcome to BC,

The blinking hourglass (replacing your cursor) usually means that Windows is waiting for a program or process running in the background to finish doing whatever it is doing.

A couple of questions come to mind:
  • How long does this condition last? Is it a few seconds or several minutes?
  • Do you know what processes are running at the time this occurs?
  • Is your computer running slower than it used to?
  • Is your hard drive almost full?
  • Do you have more than one Anti-Virus or Firewall running at the same time?
You may have found a hijacker that is along for the ride that your Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware programs are just not finding. Not all of them find all things, all of the time. Certain versions do a much more complete job than others. There are more
specialized products that find only specific types of malware. Trend Micro is a good program but it isn't the only one out there.
Does this look like an OldGrumpyBastard or what?

#3 landy223

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 04:03 PM

Thank you for your reply and for your questions. Here are my answers:

1. The blinking hourglass lasts until I restart the computer.
2. The programs that are running are usually my Thunderbird email program, and Microsoft Word.
3. When the cursor is blinking, my computer does run a little slower (but not grindingly slow). My computer also seems to be making a "thinking" or "running" noise as if I'm running a lot of programs at once or as if I'm running a virus scan with Trend Micro.
4. My hard-drive has 53.8 GB free space (out of 89.8 GB total).
5. I'm running my Windows XP firewall. I'm not sure how to check if I"m running other firewalls. Could Trend Micro be running a firewall as well?

Thank you!

#4 usasma

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:48 PM

Try closing the running programs when the blinking hourglass appears.
If that doesn't work, try closing the stuff in the system tray (also known as the Notification area - down by the time in the lower right corner).
If that doesn't work, then try opening Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and clicking on the Processes tab. See what's got activity in the CPU and Memory columns and let us know what you find.
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#5 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:59 PM

Thank you for your reply and for your questions. Here are my answers:

1. The blinking hourglass lasts until I restart the computer.
2. The programs that are running are usually my Thunderbird email program, and Microsoft Word.
3. When the cursor is blinking, my computer does run a little slower (but not grindingly slow). My computer also seems to be making a "thinking" or "running" noise as if I'm running a lot of programs at once or as if I'm running a virus scan with Trend Micro.
4. My hard-drive has 53.8 GB free space (out of 89.8 GB total).
5. I'm running my Windows XP firewall. I'm not sure how to check if I"m running other firewalls. Could Trend Micro be running a firewall as well?

Thank you!

  • The hourglass runs all the time, It's never a pointer?
  • I was more interested as to what processes are running in the task manager and which of the running processes were using a high CPU percentage
Have you checked to see if maybe your mouse properties haven't been changed from the default settings? Just guessing here as this is an odd situation. Click on Start>Control Panel> Change to Classic View (on left pane)>Double-Click on mouse icon. Click on pointer tab and see what the pointer is set as.

As far as firewalls go, if you don't have a hardware version or some kind of router and you haven't loaded a software version that leaves that out of the mix. I don't think that Trend Micro uses that type of function. Norton Internet Security and McAfee products use up a lot of system resources when running in the background, but you don't have them.

I would open up the task manager Ctrl+Alt+Delete and see what processes are using a lot of CPU percentage. If you see a process (outside of system idle) using a high percentage that may tell us something.

Other than that I am stumped...
Does this look like an OldGrumpyBastard or what?




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